On the Keck telescope, autoguiders are not tightly integrated into the telescope control system; an autoguider is just an instrument which happens to have been asked to send guide star positions to the telescope. A standard message interface has been defined, and any source of guide star positions which adheres to this interface can play the role of the autoguider. This means that it would be easy for science instruments with fast readout rates (this of course includes all thermal infra-red instruments) to provide guide star positions. Much of an autoguider's user interface and control logic is independent of the actual source of the guide star positions. Accordingly the Keck telescope has defined an internal ``camera server'' protocol which is used by camera-independent high-level autoguider software to control physical cameras. As yet this protocol is only supported by one type of camera (the Photometrics camera which is used for all Keck autoguiders). Support for other types of camera, for example an infra-red camera, is planned. The poster display will illustrate the Keck approach to autoguiding, will show some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Keck approach, and will discuss future plans.
Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems III
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